Veal, fennel & za’atar kofte

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Veal is something I don’t eat often enough, but is a truly delicious and lighter alternative to standard beef – it almost reminds me more of pork in mince form, only less fatty.

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Ever since I saw a programme on the plight of the British dairy cow, I’ve been keen to show support for the meat. Most newborn cows go to waste – ie they are shot moments after birth because they are considered useless as they can’t produce milk and are shunned by consumers whose perception of veal is as a cruelly prepared meat. This perception isn’t conjured out of thin air – the rumours are true in Europe where laws are slack and consideration for the welfare of these calves is low. But British rose veal is reared to a high standard – and by eating it, you are actually making use of a life that would otherwise go to waste. Sure, the calves don’t get a very long life (although more than the alternative of a few hours), but if you eat lamb you’re also eating an infant animal. So there are my thoughts on why everyone should eat more British veal! But the other reason is it just tastes really bloody good.

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I fancied a Turkish picky kebaby dinner and thought that the veal shouldn’t hold me back – and I’m so glad I didn’t shy away from the unorthodoxy of this meat in this cuisine. Kofte and other meatballs can be quite heavy but using veal lightens the meal – you almost feel like you’re eating chicken, but with a subtle beefy flavour. The fennel and za’atar also worked so well.

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I wasn’t really planning on sharing this dinner but had to on tasting it – just delicious! Served with griddled Turkish peppers, Flatbreads and aubergine baked with caraway seeds – plus minty tahini yoghurt – this made a damn good midweek meal.

I’ll be buying veal mince again very soon indeed!

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You will need:

400g high welfare British veal mince (not European – their farming standards are pretty much non existent and cruel in my opinion)
2 garlic cloves
2 large eggs, beaten
50g coarse breadcrumbs
3 chopped spring onions
1 large red chilli, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
Large handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
Small handful mint, chopped
1 tbspn za’atar
1/2 tbspn Tabasco (trust me!)
1/2 tbspn white wine vinegar
1 tbspn freshly ground fennel seeds
Salt, pepper
Olive oil, to fry

Method:

1 – Place all the ingredients bar olive oil in a large bowl and use your hands to mix thoroughly together, ensuring even distribution of ingredients
2 – Form the mince mixture into koftes (small slightly flattened torpedo shaped balls)
3 – Preheat a griddle pan on a medium high heat with a little olive oil; add the koftes and grill on all sides until nicely dark brown and cooked through (about 8-10 minutes)

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4 thoughts on “Veal, fennel & za’atar kofte

  1. This is my favourite kind of dinner… wrapping up all sorts of deliciousness in a flatbread to gobble down with relish! Love the idea of the veal mince, I always forget to use veal (Aaron and I actually ate some on Friday night and I thought, “why don’t I cook veal more often”?!) so this is another nice reminder to use it in our weekly repertoire. Yum. Great post!

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